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In May 2015, thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants were rescued by Acehnese fishermen after being left on the sea for weeks. Commanded by Panglima Laot, a local customary leader who has the right to decide what can (and cannot) be done in Aceh’s sea territory, Acehnese fishermen and their society in general have agreed to help and host the migrants. Currently, there are four Rohingya refugee camps run in Aceh which are located in Kuala Langsa, Kuala Simpang, Bayeun, and Blang Adoe in North Aceh. Under the local custom of inclusion, civil society in Aceh has shaped its own ‘migration regime’ that dictates ‘whom to help’ and ‘what is best for them’.

source : Kyoto Review issue 18


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